Monday, April 6 2020 14:09
David Stepanyan

Forecast: Increase in gas tariffs in Armenia will lead to a drop in  consumption

Forecast: Increase in gas tariffs in Armenia will lead to a drop in  consumption

ArmInfo.An increase in domestic gas tariffs in Armenia will lead to a drop in consumption and, accordingly, Gazprom Armenia CJSC will not bring any financial  dividends. A similar opinion was expressed by ArmInfo Vice-Chairman  of the Armenian National Congress Aram Manukyan.

"Based on my own experience as a member of the parliamentary" gas  commission, "I can say that a 10- 15% increase in tariffs is  accompanied by a 5-6 percent drop in gas consumption. People,  especially in their current state, will simply consume less gas.  Those who it's accessible, they will refuse to use gas altogether,  preferring to destroy and burn the forest. I think Gazprom Armenia  should also understand this, "he said. Last week, Armenian Deputy  Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan sent a letter to Gazprom Chairman  Alexei Miller with a proposal we can begin negotiations to reduce gas  prices due to the negative impact of coronavirus on the country's  socio-economic development. At the same time, Yerevan offers Moscow  the option of paying in national currency. Armenia purchases gas from  Russia at $ 165 per 1000 cubic meters, while Armenian consumers pay  companies " Gazprom Armenia "$ 290 per 1000 cubic meters.

The very next day, Gazprom Armenia CJSC published a release about  plans to apply to the Public Services Regulatory Commission with a  proposal starting July 1 to increase the tariff for subscribers who  consume up to 600 cubic meters of gas per year who are entitled to a  family or social allowance, from 100 to 135 , 9 thousand drams. It is  proposed to lower the price for subscribers using up to 10 thousand  cubic meters of gas annually from 139 to 135.9 thousand drams.

Manukyan stressed that he continues to assert the possibility of  lowering domestic gas tariffs in Armenia to a quarter. According to  him, at this stage, the government needs to think about preventing a  possible increase in tariffs. And only then to return to the issue of  lowering. First of all, through the refusal of "Gazprom Armenia" from  excessive "charity", bonuses and bonuses, extremely high salaries of  employees, minimization of losses and other squandering of resources.

Stressing that the company had not yet submitted the promised  application to the PSRC, he stipulated its expiration of previous  agreements with the Armenian government. Manukyan is convinced that  PSRC should refuse this application due to her lack of convincing  motivation. At the same time, even if the company's requirements are  met, raising tariffs by 36% for socially vulnerable segments of the  population will not practically lead to an increase in Gazprom  Armenia's income, however, it will seriously affect their situation.  According to his estimates, this population group, consuming annually  up to 600 cubic meters of gas, as a whole, consumes only up to 2% of  the total gas consumption in Armenia.

"Nevertheless, given the proposed increase in tariffs by 17% for  business entities using more than 10,000 cubic meters, the rise in  price will be a pretty difficult blow for our economy, which is  already in a difficult time. It will hit gas stations, electricity  producers, and the processing industry , production as a whole. Gas  will become slightly cheaper only for about 800 thousand families  consuming more than 600 cubic meters of gas. In this light, our  government should consistently fight at least to maintain the current  After all, Russia is a strategic partner of Armenia, a member of the  EAEU, and this obliges Moscow to pursue a more friendly policy  towards such countries. Accordingly, serious negotiations are  necessary, accompanied by the PSRC's refusal to satisfy the request  of Gazprom Armenia, "the politician summed up.

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